Australia's Snowy Hydro contracts 888 MW of wind, solar generation

Tumut 3 power station, Snowy Mountains Scheme. Image by Snowy Hydro Ltd (www.snowyhydro.com.au)

November 2 (Renewables Now) - Australia's Snowy Hydro Ltd has signed contracts for 888 MW of solar and wind capacity in its latest call for renewables generation, which was considerably oversubscribed.

The company, which owns the 4.1-GW Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme, said on Thursday that it has received more than 17,600 MW of proposals in the competitive round, launched in May. Through the call for bids, it was seeking to add 400 MW of wind and 400 MW of solar generation so as to expand its portfolio and meet growing customer demand.

The eight winning projects, of which four wind farms and four photovoltaic (PV) parks, are to be commissioned within the next two years, supplying 2.8 TWh of power per year or as much as 500,000 households consume. The capacity will be located in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

One of the companies winning a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) is Lightsource BP, which has secured 105 MWp, the utility-scale solar developer said in a separate statement. Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG) is also among the winners too, the Sydney Herald reports.

The additional power will be used for Snowy Hydro’s pumped hydro storage generators that are currently running on electricity from the grid, including power from coal or gas, for pumping water.

Snowy Hydro said the new renewable energy contracts will help push down future energy prices, bringing on significant new energy supply and therefore "much-needed competition to the market".

The newly-contracted capacity will allow the company to sell power at firm wholesale prices of less than AUD 70 (USD 50.7/EUR 44.3) per MWh for flat load from the start of 2020. That price includes the cost of the raw renewable energy plus the cost of firming.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.724/EUR 0.633)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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